Arcades, bowling alleys, theaters and other entertainment venues in the state of Alabama will be able to open at 5 p.m. today, May 22, as part of an amended “Safer at Home” policy that seeks to find balance, said Gov. Kay Ivey in a press conference yesterday. This news comes as the COVID-19 case count is rising in the state, especially in the capital city of Montgomery.
“While maintaining focus on our personal health, it is now time that we will also focus on our economic health,” Gov. Ivey said. “This, too, will be a thoughtful, methodical process.”
While she urged continued personal responsibility by minimizing travel outside the home, using face coverings, handwashing, staying six feet apart and other safe practices, the governor said, “Today is the next step in what has seemed like a long and difficult process of reopening our economy, while we remain true to the belief, the fact, that y’all, this is a serious, deadly disease.”
Birmingham Vending’s Steven Toranto said, “After almost two months of small business closures in Alabama, we look forward to welcoming our customers back and reopening our industry. We know that this will be a slow process but are really encouraged by this first step.”
Previously, the state had allowed bars, restaurants and breweries to open with limited table seating as long as they followed social-distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines. Included in the new order: childcare facilities and summer camps can open; athletic activities can resume on May 23 (competition can start on June 15); and educational institutions can open on June 1. Again, all are subject to social-distancing and sanitation rules/guidelines.